Discovery Considers Streaming Options for U.S. Content to Reach Non-MVPD Subscribers

Discovery Inc. is considering a range of options for making its U.S. content more widely available on a streaming platform designed to reach non-cable subscribers.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav told Wall Street analysts on Thursday morning that the company will be making decisions over the next few months about how to best capitalize on the demand for on-demand streaming platforms that fall outside of the traditional MVPD universe. That’s a big step for a company that has been synonymous with the cable industry.

“Is there an opportunity to take that content on a broader basis, to mount an attack on those that are not existing cable subscribers,” Zaslav said during Discovery’s third-quarter earnings call. Discovery has learned from its various efforts in overseas markets, through partnerships with existing distributors and by going it alone with streaming offerings focused on sports and other niches.

Discovery’s goal is to “take our great IP and reach everyone. We want everyone to watch our content,” Zaslav said.

Zaslav opined during the call that MVPDs need to “get some courage” and be more creative in assembling smaller- and low-cost bundles to draw in a wider range of customers, particularly those who are not interested in the regional and national sports channels that drive up the price of cable service. He pointed to Q3 results unveiled Thursday by Dish Network, which drew 214,000 subscribers during the past three months to its low-cost Sling streaming channel bundle, as a sign that consumers want lower-cost options. Sling does not include any sports outlets.

“Stop stuffing the damn bundle,” Zaslav said. “Serve the consumer.”

In its Q3 results, Discovery saw third quarter profit rise as revenue from advertising as well as cable and satellite distribution rose even as the company’s various TV products lost viewers overall.

The New York owner of the Food Network, Discovery Channel, HGTV and TLC cable networks said net income available to the company rose to $262 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with $117 million, or 16 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding one time items, the company earned 87 cents per share.

Revenue increased 3% to nearly $2.68 billion, compared with $2.59 billion.

In a statement, Zaslav cited “healthy revenue growth in the U.S. and internationally” as a primary factor in the company’s results.

Discovery said its U.S. networks thrived largely on increases in ad pricing as well as higher rates in affiliate contracts, as well as new carriage of the properties on streaming outlets. Still, the company noted that its linear TV ratings fell during the period and that if faced “a decline in overall subscribers.”

More TV

  • Asa Butterfield in Netflix's Sex Education

    Netflix & Sky Strike Multi-Year Deal To Keep Streamer On Service

    Comcast-owned pay-TV operator Sky and Netflix have hammered out a new multi-year deal to keep content from the streaming giant on the service.  Under the new deal, customers of Sky’s set-top box service Sky Q will have the option to opt in for Netflix’s basic plan, which is priced locally at £5.99 ($7.99) per month. [...]

  • Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions,

    Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions, Mostly in Music

    Paradigm has made a significant cut to its staff, laying off about 30 agents and support staff or 4% of its employees, Variety has confirmed. Sources said most of the layoffs were in the music area at the agency and took place Friday.. Paradigm, which had about 700 employees prior to the layoffs, had no [...]

  • Edward Burns'Alex Cross' film premiere, Los

    Edward Burns Dramedy, Blumhouse TV Docuseries in Development at Epix

    Epix is eyeing some potential new additions on both the scripted and unscripted front. Network president Michael Wright unveiled Epix’s development slate, which includes two scripted projects and three prospective docuseries, at its Television Critics’ Association winter press tour day. One of the two scripted series hails from Edward Burns who is best known for [...]

  • Kim Kardashian WestFashion Group International's Night

    Kim Kardashian West 'Goes to War' on Mass Incarceration in Documentary Trailer (Watch)

    Kim Kardashian West is going to war on mass incarceration. Oxygen has released the trailer for her documentary “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” which sees the media personality declare that “there is a mass incarceration problem in the United States.” The two-hour documentary, premiering Sunday, April 5, captures Kardashian West as she explores the [...]

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of

    Harry and Meghan Will Give Up Royal Titles, Repay U.K. for House Renovation

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will lose their royal titles of “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness,” when they step back as senior members of the United Kingdom’s royal family, according to a new statement from Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace. However, the duo will maintain the moniker of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The [...]

  • Grey's Anatomy deaths

    The Top 13 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Deaths Ranked

    If there’s anyone that knows how to deliver a heart-wrenching death scene, it’s the team behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Created by Shonda Rhimes, the broadcast medical drama came out of the gate in 2005 with literal life and death stakes for its characters. Being set in a hospital meant that mortality was a constant theme [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    'Surviving Jeffrey Epstein' Docuseries Gets Greenlight at Lifetime

    Lifetime has officially ordered the four-hour documentary series “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.” The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday. The series was originally announced as in development last summer and is expected to air this summer on Lifetime. Hailing from Emmy-winner Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment, Anne Sundberg [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content